‘My Top 10’: Vegan places in north and east London

Author Serena Lee picks a selection of faves from her new book – in no particular order

A plate of vegan food from Mildreds

Arancini Brothers – 100% Vegan

Crispy on the outside, chewy and gooey on the inside, Arancini Brothers base their food around one thing, and they do it to perfection. Rice grains are slow-cooked in herbs with garlic and onion, mixed with vegan cheese and then rolled by hand before being fried to a delicious golden hue. Big Dave and Little Dave started their arancini venture on Brick Lane, eventually moving to a cafe in Kentish Town. Having gone fully vegan in 2018 across all three branches, the menu now extends to, arancini burgers, protein-packed stews as well as the old arancini favourites. 592 Kingsland Road E8, more info here.

Paradise Unbakery – 100% Vegan

Healthy never looked this good. Since graduating from raw-food stall to full cafe in 2016, Paradise Unbakery has become one of West London’s favourite plant-based food destinations – attracting vegans with the food, and non-vegans with the aesthetic (who’ll come back when they discover just how good the food is). Choose from a generous menu, with plenty of raw and gluten- free options – for breakfast, lunch and of course a selection of desserts from founder and chef, Egle, that is ‘free from all the bad stuff and full of goodness’. Paradise Unbakery sets the bar high with its interior, but it’s the food and drink that really take the (raw) cake. 59 Chamberlayne Road NW10

OSU Coconuts – 100% Vegan

Head to Brick Lane Market on a Sunday and you’ll find Benny slicing open coconuts with a machete. Londoners can enjoy hot coconut ‘tea’ or fresh cold coconut water straight from the source, along with Benny’s famous pancakes. This is creative plant-based food at its best, priced affordably and made with passion. OSU also run OSU Lifestyle, a charitable clothing line funded by OSU Coconuts, with 100 percent of profits going to children or adults suffering from illness. Supporting this small business feels good and does good. Brick Lane Market E1

LLS Café – Vegan Friendly

LLS is the kind of local gem that’s almost too good to share. Entering the small and bustling cafe, you’ll eye up the cake counter and make a mental note of at least three cakes to take away with you on the way out. With even their toast homemade, LLS’s ethos is that real food should be the foundation of a good diet regardless of fitness goals, and so they work to feed Londoners healthy food that tastes great. This is the perfect place to spend a Saturday brunch followed by a walk up the road to the beautiful Hampstead Heath. 95-97 Heath Street NW3


The Fields Beneath – 100% Vegan

The Fields Beneath has been a popular café since 2012, serving coffee and mum’s cakes to the people of Kentish Town. Their story is particularly special, with one team member becoming vegan and helping the whole business make the switch. The café spent weeks being ‘out of ham’, and then flyers appeared explaining why there’d soon be no dairy milk served in their coffees anymore. They went completely vegan on Mother’s Day 2017 and, with resounding support from both vegans and old regulars impressed by the still-delicious food and drink, the team will open more sites soon. Visit for stuffed croissants, sausage rolls, cake and delicious Oatly-brewed coffee – and get ready to visit time and time again. 52a Prince of Wales Road NW5, more info here.

Mildreds – Vegan Friendly

One of London’s best-known vegetarian restaurants, Mildreds has been a top pick for birthday celebrations, romantic dates and work meetings ever since the original Soho restaurant opened in 1988. Each branch has its own unique personality – head to Lexington Street for a cosy family meal; or for brunch in an industrial- chic setting bursting with natural light, head to Pentonville Road in King’s Cross for blueberry quinoa and oat waffles with coconut cream. When London vegans think of Mildreds, the dishes that spring to mind are the vegetable gyoza starter, the Polish Burger – with beetroot, white bean, basil mayo and pickled cabbage in a brioche bun – and the peanut-butter brownie with vegan ice cream. Mildreds don’t take bookings, so visiting at off-peak times will help you get a table faster – even with a queue, it’s well worth the wait. Dalston, King’s Cross and Camden branches, more info here.

Fields Beneath. Photo: Jack Orton

Cereal Killer Café – Vegan Friendly

For a dose of 90s nostalgia, it has to be Cereal Killer, who have recently extended their vegan menu at the Shoreditch branch to include bowls served with oat milk, Cereal Milk Ice Cream made from soya-based ice cream soaked in Frosties, and shakes with oat milk and soya custard piled high with soya cream, cereal and sauce. There’s also a vegan Pop Tart ice-cream sandwich and even savoury options including Arancheerio Balls: garlic risotto balls in a crispy Cheerio coating. 192a Brick Lane and Camden Market NW1, more here.

Purezza – 100% Vegan

With ten drool-worthy sourdough pizzas on the menu, plus calzone, raw pizza and lasagna, you’ll need to schedule in repeat visits to get over any fear of missing out on their incredible food. Having spent two years perfecting their mozzarella recipe using brown rice – resulting in a cheese with half the calories and fat compared with traditional mozzarella – the team is dedicated to feeding Londoners nothing but the best, offering up pizzas like the Couch Potato (smoked mozzarella, aubergine, potatoes, basil and seitan) and the Cheesus made with four types of vegan cheese. Feast on these with a side of cheesy dough balls and nish with a creamy, hazelnutty Oreo pizza. Pure gluttony. 43 Parkway NW1, more info here.

Manna – 100% Vegan

The leafy, residential area of Primrose Hill plays host to Manna, one of Europe’s oldest vegetarian establishments spanning over 50 years. Manna is known for its traditional vegan Sunday roast and is fully committed to serving a plant-based menu with a range of organic vegan wine, as well as a selection of vegan cakes from their own certified bakery. Making the most of their location, Manna also offers a picnic hamper, which provides treats and snacks perfect for a walk along the nearby canal or a picnic on Primrose Hill. 4 Erskine Road NW1

Club Mexicana – 100% Vegan

This is street food how it’s meant to be done: deep-fried, spicy and loaded. Club Mexicana serve Mexican-inspired dishes that are all vegan, with a side of disco vibes under neon lights. Start your meal with vegan cheese sticks, fried in breadcrumbs, which break into a gooey, stringy centre that will strip your veggie friend of their ‘can’t give up cheese’ line when debating going fully vegan. Next up, try the Mexicana Hot Nachos or the Pulled Jackfruit Burrito with guacamole, pink pickled onion and salted chillies. There might even be deep-fried Mexican ice cream on the menu for dessert. Spread Eagle, 24 Homerton High St E8

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Vegan London by Serena Lee is out now, £9.99, grab one here.

Photo: Jack Orton

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